By Matthew Denis
As Muslims world over observe Ramadan, Ilorin International Airport has recorded low passengers movement, Pilot Aviation can report.
It was observed that activities at both the departure and arrival sections of the airport have reduced since the beginning of the Ramadan.
Muslims world over commenced the annual and compulsory Ramadan fasting on Monday upon the sighting of the new moon. The 29 days fasting is expected to end on 5th of June.
Findings by this medium reveals that each flight by the two commercial airlines, Overland airways and Arik Air, operating at the airport between Tuesday and Saturday barely recorded 25 passengers .
Overland Airway flight on Tuesday morning had 13 passengers onboard Lagos- Ilorin route and the returning leg from Abuja to Ilorin had about 17 passengers.
On wednesday Overland Air flight had less than 20 passengers for the morning flight.
Also Arik Air flight on Friday recorded below 30 passengers despite the fact that the airline on the average fly at least 40 passengers every Friday from Abuja to Ilorin.
Speaking to this medium, an airport staff who craved anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the press, attributed the situation to the Ramadan period.
“The airport recorded more passenger just before Ramadan because most people have returned home (Ilorin)to observe the fasting with their family.
“I believe the situation will improve before the end of Ramadan as people would want to travel for the Sallah celebration, ” he added.
Another reliable source, however, attributed the drop in passengers turnout to the hike in airfare by Overland Airways. The airline charges a ticket fee of N50,000 from Ilorin enroute Abuja.
“Most of the passengers now travel by road from Ilorin to Abuja, which is less than N5,000, considering the economic situation of the country.
“My advice is for government to provide favourable business environment so that more flights will start operating through this airport to bring about competitiveness among the airlines.”